(262) 335-4678

Old Courthouse
& Jail Museums

Wednesday – Friday: 11:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Saturday: 9:00 – 3:00 p.m. 

St. Agnes Historic Site
By Appointment Only

Washington County Courthouse Museum

Membership

Upcoming Events

Mar
7
Wed
Life Captured on Glass: Highlights From the Glass Plate Negative Collection Temporary Exhibit @ Old Courthouse Museum
Mar 7 – Apr 28 all-day
Life  Captured on Glass:  Highlights From the Glass Plate Negative Collection Temporary Exhibit @ Old Courthouse Museum | West Bend | Wisconsin | United States

Before plastic film and digital storage, glass was used to capture images.  Visit the History Center and see a selection of glass plate negatives and their printed images from the Research Center and Archives Collection.  Also on exhibit will be our 1908 studio camera and a selection of equipment used for taking glass negatives.  Free with regular museum admission.

May
2
Wed
History of the Doughboy Monument @ Old Courthouse Museum
May 2 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
History of the Doughboy Monument @ Old Courthouse Museum | West Bend | Wisconsin | United States

In honor of the opening of our new traveling exhibit WWII Beyond the Trenches: Stories from the Front courtesy of The Wisconsin Veterans Museum, our executive director Patricia Lutz will be presenting on the history of the Doughboy Statue.

Free with museum admission.

WWI Beyond the Trenches: Stories from the Front Traveling Exhibit @ Old Courthouse Museum
May 2 @ 3:00 pm – Jun 2 @ 4:56 pm
WWI Beyond the Trenches: Stories from the Front  Traveling Exhibit @ Old Courthouse Museum | West Bend | Wisconsin | United States

Over 122,000 Wisconsin men and women served on land, sea and in the air during WWI.  WWI Beyond the Trenches, a traveling exhibit from the Wisconsin Veterans Museum, features an up close and personal look at the Great War through the eyes of Wisconsin veterans using photographs and first person accounts.  This special exhibit is free with museum admission.

May
5
Sat
Dig into the Past: Archaeology Day @ Old Courthouse Museum
May 5 @ 9:00 am – 1:00 pm
Dig into the Past: Archaeology Day @ Old Courthouse Museum | West Bend | Wisconsin | United States

Dig into the past at our free family-friendly, indoor-outdoor celebration! This year, we’re exploring archaeology in honor of Wisconsin archaeology month.

 See how stone tools are made, learn how archaeologist identify and interpret artifacts, and MORE!

Guided tours of the Old Jailhouse Museum will be available at 9:45, 10:15, 10:45, 11:15, 11:45, 12:15, and 12:45. Stop at the Old Courthouse Museum front desk for free tour tickets.

May
15
Tue
Marge Holzbog Presents the History of Richfield @ Old Courthouse Museum
May 15 @ 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Marge Holzbog Presents the History of Richfield @ Old Courthouse Museum | West Bend | Wisconsin | United States

Marge Holzbog will present a history of Richfield.

May
28
Mon
Memorial Day Free Admission @ Old Courthouse Museum
May 28 @ 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
Memorial Day Free Admission @ Old Courthouse Museum | West Bend | Wisconsin | United States

The Old Courthouse Museum will be open following the 11:00am program on the Veterans’ Memorial Plaza, located at 5th and Poplar. No Museum admission will be charged.  Sorry, no Jail tours will be available.

Jun
15
Fri
Crimes of West Bend Talk with Patricia Lutz @ Old Courthouse Museum
Jun 15 @ 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Crimes of West Bend Talk with Patricia Lutz @ Old Courthouse Museum | West Bend | Wisconsin | United States

Learn about the dark past of West Bend as Executive Director of the History Center of Washington County reveals the crimes of West Bend!  This second talk in the 3 part series co-sponsored by the West Bend Library and the History Center of Washington County will take place at the Old Courthouse Museum.

Jun
20
Wed
Free Museums Admission Week for County Residents
Jun 20 @ 11:00 am – Jun 23 @ 8:47 am
Free Museums Admission Week for County Residents

Washington County Residents are invited to visit all 3 History Center Washington County Museums this week for FREE. It’s our way of saying, “Thank you!”

On Wednesday, June 20 all Museums are open late.

  • Old Courthouse & Old Jailhouse Museums, 11:00am-7:00pm
  • Father Rehrl’s Rectory & Exhibit at St. Agnes Historic Site, 5:00pm-7:00pm. Open Wednesday only.

EGG DROP from Old Courthouse tower June 21 from 4-7pm! Group-build a secure, drop-proof egg carton in the courtroom (or at home) for 1 raw egg. For $10 you get the egg, building supplies and 3 chances to hit the target from the balcony level (80 feet) of the Old Courthouse tower.

Hit the target and the egg survives, win a prize. Hit the target and the egg does not survive, you still get a prize. Try as many times as you wish, but it is $10/egg/drop. Tower is open only to those participating in the egg drop.

LAST OLD JAILHOUSE MUSEUM TOUR each day begins 45 minutes before close. Stop at the Old Courthouse Museum for a FREE Old Jailhouse Museum tour ticket.

Regular hours for Museums apply the rest of the week.

Residents, please bring a photo id with your current address, or a utility bill with photo id. Regular museum admission applies to non-county residents. Egg drop fee is in addition to museum admission.

Egg Drop at the Museum @ Old Courthouse Museum
Jun 20 @ 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Egg Drop at the Museum @ Old Courthouse Museum | West Bend | Wisconsin | United States

Group-build a secure, drop-proof egg carton in the courtroom (or at home) for 1 raw egg.

For $10 you get the egg, building supplies and 3 chances to hit the target from the balcony level (80 feet) of the Old Courthouse tower.

Hit the target and the egg survives, win a prize. Hit the target and the egg does not survive, you still get a prize.Tower is open only to those participating in the egg drop.

Egg Drop is during our Free Museum Admission Week for Washington County Residents. Residents, please bring a photo id with your current address, or a utility bill with photo id. Regular museum admission applies to non-county residents. Egg drop fee is in addition to museum admission.

Jul
4
Wed
CLOSED Museums and Research Center @ Old Courthouse Museum
Jul 4 – Jul 5 all-day
CLOSED Museums and Research Center @ Old Courthouse Museum | West Bend | Wisconsin | United States

Museums and Research Center will be CLOSED.  Happy 4th of July!

Becoming a member of the Washington County Historical Society has many benefits!

Our members receive our outstanding newsletter “The Court Reporter” filled with information about the Society and also articles about the History of Washington County.  You will also find a selection of images or information about our exhibits and artifacts.

Members also will receive first notice on our programs along with discounts on fees and gift shop items.  Our members also have unlimited passes to the Old Courthouse Museum and the Sheriff’s Residence and Jail.  To Join or to learn more about Member’s Benefits and Membership Levels Download and Print the form below  or click the link to sign up  online and pay with a credit card.

If you need to have a form sent you, call us at 262-335-4678.

Membership/donate FAQS

Q: Do I have to live in or be from Washington County to become a member?

A: No. Anyone interested in preservation of the past is welcome to join. Find more about becoming a member on the Support page.

Q: Am I expected to attend meetings to become a member?

A: No. As a member, you are invited to the annual November membership meeting and vote on the incoming Board of Directors.  

Q: How do I make a memorial gift or a gift in honor of someone?

A: Contact the Executive Director, (262) 335-4678 or director@historyisfun.com, or fill out the form on the Support page and return with a check. 

Q: How would I make a bequest gift?

A: Contact the Executive Director, (262) 335-4678 or director@historyisfun.com.

Q: I have an object that I would like to donate. What do I need to do?

A: All object donations must first have approval of the Curator of Collections and Exhibits. Please do not drop them off or leave them at the door. Make an appointment by contacting the Curator of Collections and Exhibits, (262) 335-4678 or curator@historyisfun.com.

Q: I would like to make a gift to the Washington County Historical Society Foundation, Inc.

A: Endowment Fund gifts can be mailed to The History Center Washington County, 320 S 5th Ave, West Bend, WI 53095. Make checks to "Washington County Historical Foundation, Inc."  and include any specific instructions. Contact the Executive Director, (262) 335-4678 or director@historyisfun.com, with any questions.